Grix waited beneath the bridge for someone. Anyone. It didn't matter who.
He had waited since sundown. As a troll, he wasn't a fan of the daylight, nor was it a fan of him. That's why he felt comfortable waiting beneath the bridge. It was cold and dank. The occasional toad offered a snack. He just had to be careful not to doze, as the brook's gentle glossolalia threatened to hypnotize him into sleep.
Grix awoke. He wasn't sure how long he'd been asleep for, but it was only after he had finished cursing the brook and his own fatigue that he could pick out faint voices above the false syllables of the water. The voices came up the path towards the bridge.
No light ripped the shroud of darkness that lay over the land.
The midnight ramblers came close enough for their words to resolve into speech, and Grix knew why they didn't carry a lantern.
"Oh, darling Ulysses! If only our love wasn't forbidden by my father and your mother!" said the young woman.
"My lovely Vissitunia! We can't let them stop us! Let us run away, tonight, and wed one another in holy SHIT!"
Grix had reached up from his hiding space and clamped on knobbly hand over Ulysses' ankle.
"Lovebirds," Grix said. "So fricken' beautiful."
Vissitunia didn't waste any time. She fell to her knees and began hitting Grix's hand with a rock.
"Listen, girl, stop hitting me. I said STOP!" Grix bellowed. He grabbed her wrist and twisted it until the rock fell out of it. She whimpered. "I'd pull it right off if I didn't need you both intact. Follow my directions and you won't get hurt. If you don't follow my directions, I'll yank off this hand, the other, and both legs off of the two of you. Do you understand?"
"It's dark out, you fricken' morons. I can't see you if you're nod. Do you understand?"
"We understand," Ulysses said.
"Now you, girl," Grix said.
"Yes, I understand."
"Good. Tomorrow we're going to go rob a merchant banker. Tonight, we prepare."
The Moral: the troll population increased sixteen-fold after the development of the umbrella
To be continued...